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Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-rebrand-it-as-stylized-earth dept.

IOS 451

TheBoat writes "Tim Cook has apologized for the company's Maps app in iOS 6. 'We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.' Cook said the company is continuing to work on the app, but recommended several alternatives in the meantime: apps from Bing, MapQuest, and Waze, or the map websites of Google and Nokia." This is unusual for Apple, but not unprecedented. Steve Jobs acknowledged reception issues with the iPhone 4 in 2010, but he wasn't quite so contrite about it.

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451 comments

Bye Apple (5, Funny)

heptapod (243146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487211)

Steve Jobs would have never apologized. He woudl've given it just the right spin that everyone would feel contrite over making jokes at Apple's expense. The next release would be perfect, as Steve would have demanded, and the kerfuffle would be consigned to largely forgotten history.

Tim Cook goofed.

Re:Bye Apple (5, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487267)

Steve Jobs would have never apologized. He woudl've given it just the right spin that everyone would feel contrite over making jokes at Apple's expense. The next release would be perfect, as Steve would have demanded, and the kerfuffle would be consigned to largely forgotten history.

Tim Cook goofed.

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is. I have no doubt that this will be fixed in short order as Apple has gobs of money to throw at the problem and knowledge of where the problems are.

There is no better beta test than a general release.

Disclaimer: I am an Android user and by no means an Apple fanboi. Frankly, I despise the company for abusing the court system for their anticompetitive practices. However, you have to give Apple credit here for admitting flaws. It's not something the company often does and they should get credit for it.

Re:Bye Apple (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487321)

as someone who bought apple shares before 2007 - i can only hope that fucking up then throwing money at problems to fix them carelessly is not the long term post steve jobs plan.

Re:Bye Apple (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487525)

as someone who bought apple shares before 2007 - i can only hope that fucking up then throwing money at problems to fix them carelessly is not the long term post steve jobs plan.

Given the reports that they still had another year worth of contractually available Google Maps, if they wanted it, the early switch does seem like a questionable move; but the 'throwing money at the problem' part is simply an inevitability if they want to get into mapping.

As they've learned(and any GIS people could have told them ahead of time...) the state of computerized mapping is such that you can't just throw a small number of talented programmers at the problem and expect it to work. Apple can do UIs, and the math behind various projections and coordinate systems and other cartographic stuff is available; but the underlying data about the real world are absolutely filthy and often patchy, outdated, scattered between multiple entities, etc, etc. They can either drop the product, or commit themselves to a long string of purchases of existing datasets and talent, and quite possibly a bunch of sheer slogging. Team Google doesn't have all those wacky spy cars running around purely for their novelty value, or because they have some moral objection to developing software to grovel through 3rd-party datasets...

You can debate whether it is a problem worth throwing money at; but it is a problem that you either don't touch, approach cautiously and with a willingness to take it slowly(ie. openstreetmap), or go in with checkbook blazing.

Re:Bye Apple (4, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487811)

as someone who bought apple shares before 2007 - i can only hope that fucking up then throwing money at problems to fix them carelessly is not the long term post steve jobs plan.

Good, fast and cheap; pick two! Fast was a necessity and they obviously didn't spend enough money to make it good. Now they have to. They went for what their executives called "good enough" knowing that it certainly wouldn't hamper sales, and it hasn't. Apple has never had free navigation so even a crappy app is better than what they had before. They are receiving negative press over this but I don't see a whole lot of Apple users jumping ship. Like the Samsung commercial, Apple users are saying, "we'll get that fixed next time."

Re:Bye Apple (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487373)

I don't know about it being fixed in "short order". Think of how long it took and how many people it took to get Google Maps to the level it's at. Even if Apple spends enough to cut that time in half we're still looking at a decent wait.

Re:Bye Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487441)

absolutely true. google maps is no simple project - took all kinds of engineers working for years. and if apple isn't going to do it better - why waste user's time like this?

Re:Bye Apple (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487661)

Because if you want Google's data you play by Google's rules, and Google has things they want that Apple didn't want to give them.

Re:Bye Apple (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487857)

Because if you want Google's data you play by Google's rules, and Google has things they want that Apple didn't want to give them.

Google is not the only company that offers maps with turn by turn directions. I'm actually surprised that Apple simply didn't buy a company that already has things up and running like they did with Siri. They could have purchased TomTom, for example and had everything up and running immediately. All they would have needed to do is write the app. I can't see how that would have been that much more expensive that starting from scratch and eating all the negative press.

Re:Bye Apple (2, Insightful)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487557)

Mod parent up! Apple may have money to throw at this issue, but they do NOT have the time. They might have if they have developed this for a few more years in secret, but now that it's out, they're boned.

Re:Bye Apple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487425)

There is no better beta test than a general release.

You should never, never, never, ever use a production release as a beta test. This is what Q/A teams are for. Apple can afford them.

The point here is that Apple decided to create their own because Google wanted to run more ads and generally improve the branding on the maps app that Apple had been licensing from them in order to renew the agreement with the addition of turn by turn navigation.

Normally I refuse to give Apple the benefit of the doubt, and in this case it was most likely a stupid decision to rush this app, but let's face it folks. Google's been mapping for years. They have a tremendous amount of money and resources invested in it. There's no way Apple could possibly catch up this fast. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they do eventually. They have enough money to pour into it.

Re:Bye Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487545)

Do we know for a fact that Google refused to negotiate better terms with Apple? Surely for whatever money Apple is investing in re-inventing the wheel they could have offered a fraction of that to obtain a more favorable agreement.

Re:Bye Apple (4, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487457)

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is.

The problem is, this is iOS version 6, not version 1. The customers don't care about inter-company politics. If they would, they wouldn't buy Apple products in the first place, being the kind of company it is.

Re:Bye Apple (4, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487517)

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is.

So you're saying they've adopted the Microsoft way: release software which is horribly bug infested, let the user's who've paid for the product tell you what's wrong, then go about fixing the problems you either knew about or were too lazy to fix in the first place because you saved a few bucks by not doing testing.

Re:Bye Apple (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487893)

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is.

So you're saying they've adopted the Microsoft way: release software which is horribly bug infested, let the user's who've paid for the product tell you what's wrong, then go about fixing the problems you either knew about or were too lazy to fix in the first place because you saved a few bucks by not doing testing.

Pretty much, yeah! The difference is that Apple users are not paying for this app. It comes with the new iPhone. I don't think there were many in line waiting overnight to purchase the new iPhone5 simply because it had a map app. They were there to get the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer.

Re:Bye Apple (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487529)

Admitting flaws is all well and good, but the fact is that a very good map app has been replaced by a laughably bad one, and the solutions are inadequate.

Re:Bye Apple (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487635)

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is.

That's acceptable if you're doing something really new and innovative that no one has done before – like the original iPhone itself, or the first release of Siri. On the other hand, if you're entering an existing marketplace, your first release had better be at least as good as the entrenched players, preferably better, or at least offer some substantial other benefit to offset that. (This is why I think Windows Phone 8 is going to be a massive flop.)

This goes double if you're replacing functionality in an existing product. You can't replace a fully-working utility with a buggy beta and expect users not to complain loudly.

There is no better beta test than a general release.

Using customers as beta testers is a sadly common practice in the IT industry, but one reason why Apple has been so popular with users is that they've avoided doing this – up until now.

Re:Bye Apple (2)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487707)

I agree that that map app is flawed, but first releases of anything usually is. I have no doubt that this will be fixed in short order as Apple has gobs of money to throw at the problem and knowledge of where the problems are.

There is no better beta test than a general release.

What happened to "It Just Works"?

The only reason why I use Apple is because they have well finished, polished software that are reliable and very pleasant to use. If I wanted beta apps I wouldn't pay that much on an iPhone or iPad.

Re:Bye Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487283)

i dont think steve would have allowed such as shitty product to completely replace something so so the opposite.

Re:Bye Apple (5, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487581)

To paraphrase the AC.

I don't think Steve would have allowed such as shitty product to completely be release.

This is probably the beginning of many such goofs as Apple ceases to be Apple and becomes just another giant technology company.

Steve was the nuclear fire that drove Apple. With the fire out, like a White Dwarf star, Apple will now simply fade away in the coming decades.

Sad.

Re:Bye Apple (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487601)

To correctly paraphrase the AC.

I don't think Steve would have allowed such as shitty product to be released.

Re:Bye Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487885)

In the coming DECADES you say?
In the coming years I say.

Re:Bye Apple (5, Interesting)

clonehappy (655530) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487293)

Tim Cook goofed.

Because he's not a lying egomaniac? I hope you were being sarcastic, but you can never be too sure.

I appreciate his honesty and willingness to be forthcoming about a flaw in their product.

Re:Bye Apple (1)

yotto (590067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487649)

Came here to say exactly this. No, seriously. I had that entire first sentence in my head, word for word, when I clicked the article.

Though I was going to say something about how people were just using the app wrong :)

Re:Bye Apple (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487829)

I find it funny how the public will equally go nuts over a small problem vs a large one.
My Maps are not as good as the last time. Vs. Company has been embezling and misusing our tax money. Same amount of anger and fustration. Why do you think companies are staying corrupt. Because if they try to be the good guys whatever minor mistake they will get the same slack is if they make a major problem.

Can't be the good guy, so let just be the bad guy.

We should save our bickering for the big stuff, and let the little stuff slide a litte bit. Sure in this case report the problem. OK the CEO appologizes. No that isn't good enough we want Blood because we were 10 minutes lake to that party.

Steve Jobs wouldn't apologize (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487215)

He'd just say you were trying to navigate wrong.

Really bad in Canada (5, Informative)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487225)

In an effort to figure out how innacurate the data in my area is I did the following:
- Fired up Xcode
- Determined that Apple Maps uses the CLGeocoder Class by peeking at the iPhone's debug console in Xcode while doing live searches in Apple Maps
- Scraped an official list of towns and cities in the province of Ontario from the provincial governments website.
- Coded up something quick in Xcode to get the results of a couple thousand searches. Searches always included the province name to be more specific.
- Ran a quick analysis of the results - not perfect but enough to get a perspective on the matter.

This is what I found:
- 2028 cities and towns searched
- 688 are not even on the map! Error Code 8
- 551 are clearly incorrect (wrong country, street names that are similar to town names etc.)
- 389 were close but not good enough (for example turn-by-turn might send you off a bridge but you'll get rescued close to where you want to be)
- Only about 400 results were actually correct.

Actual results data here and methodology here for those interested: http://www.mtonic.com/applemaps/ [mtonic.com]
(It's not perfect but gives you an idea of how bad it really is in Ontario Canada anyways)

Re:Really bad in Canada (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487363)

Without direct access to the data layer do you think you have a meaningfull result?
I suspect the real problem is the ingestion of pretty good data (hint: it's not apples)
as well and primarily the execution of the application itself, i.e. does not provide a meaningfull result due to parameters on drill down search, etc.

Re:Really bad in Canada (4, Interesting)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487437)

At least 688 out of the 2000 towns are searched for on not even on the map ... you get the same CLGeocoder Error Code 8 whether you manually search for it through Apple Maps (watch the iPhones consol because it logs those errors) or whether you do it using your own code in an App.

I agree they do not have good source data, however it's not hard to find good source data either. These missing towns for example are on every map I have ever seen.

Re:Really bad in Canada (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487395)

Honest Question: after perusing your site, the findings indicate that the underlying mapping data is seriously flawed. Apple gets its mapping data from third parties, primarily Tom Tom. I'm not trying to be an Apple apologist--they still need to take responsibility for the performance of the final product, data used and all--but wouldn't this suggest that Tom Tom's dataset is largely to blame? Or am I missing something deeper here?

Re:Really bad in Canada (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487435)

You are missing something. They used Tom Tom data and weren't bright enough to figure out it was crap.

Re:Really bad in Canada (5, Insightful)

jest3r (458429) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487495)

I agree the actual map data they have is really lacking.

However it's not hard to find good source data either. Almost 30% of my searches resulted int he location simply being "not found". These missing towns for example are on every map I have ever seen. It shouldn't be up to iPhone users to add towns onto a map - that is base location data that should be there from the start. Users can refine pin locations and add points of interests. But towns and cities should all be there as they have existed in real life since the 1800's or earlier.

You would think Apple would have audited the map data from their suppliers and realized that the maps themselves are sub-par.

Re:Really bad in Canada (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487531)

Even if Tom Tom was "largely to blame" I wouldn't blame them, it wasn't them trying to sell me an iPhone, was Apple. It wasn't Tom Tom who tried to pitch the iOS6 maps as a great new feature, it was Apple. It isn't a Tom Tom product, it's Apples. Seriously, doesn't matter who's giving the data what matters is who is "selling" the product that shouldn't be in the first place.

Re:Really bad in Canada (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487743)

Is this the new then Apple, implement 3rd party products and then blame them when they are shit?

Apple chose to use an inferior quality material for the iPhone 5 which cannot even leave the factory without scratches and marks. They also clearly choose an inferior source of mapping data.

I mean why didn't Apple just use Google Maps data but build their own skin over it? Apple claimed yesterday they dropped Google Maps because Google didn't want to provide voice navigation, but Google is also simply a repository of a rich dataset of map data you can license sans UI.

Apple made very clear and bad choices for the iPhone 5 and it has nothing to do with the 3rd parties they partnered with. They chose to cripple a product to separate ties with what they perceive as the enemy. No way I will defend a company that chose to cripple their product on purpose out of spite.

Apple's choice, Apple's responsibility (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487841)

Apple gets its mapping data from third parties, primarily Tom Tom. I'm not trying to be an Apple apologist--they still need to take responsibility for the performance of the final product, data used and all--but wouldn't this suggest that Tom Tom's dataset is largely to blame?

Apple actively chose to replace its existing maps data supplier (Google) with new suppliers (including TomTom). If there are problems with the new version of Maps resulting from that choice of data suppliers, the blame is 100% with Apple. The map data is the heart of the Maps app, so its a pretty key decision in the app. Not insisting on -- and verifying -- quality on that piece is not a minor issue.

Re:Really bad in Canada (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487685)

Virgin alert.

Everything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487233)

Everything would mean allowing Google Maps to run on iOS 6. Google maps is so far ahead. No one cares about your stupid crappy in house maps, Apple. We just want something that actually WORKS.

Re:Everything? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487429)

google maps on iOS was only good for single people who don't have cars. for the car owners the lack of turn by turn directions and real time traffic means we've been using something else for years and don't care about the lack of google maps

I'll just say this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487235)

Steve would never had apologised.

I miss Steve Jobs (4, Funny)

hawks5999 (588198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487237)

He would have just told us all that we are using the maps wrong, and we'd all apologize to him.

Re:I miss Steve Jobs (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487313)

He would have just told us all that we are using the maps wrong, and we'd all apologize to him.

If you were heading toward anywhere cool enough to be worth going, Apple Maps would have gotten you there. If you want to navigate to places that are the geographical equivalent of the crappy ERP software that keeps you using XP at work, well, you'll just have to use something else...

Re:I miss Steve Jobs (3, Funny)

yotto (590067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487727)

"You live in a really obscure town, I've probably never heard of it."
                                              --Apple

Re:I miss Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487755)

LOL probably Steve Jobs was a great guy I miss him :'( RIP.

Admitted Failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487239)

Uh oh, Apple just admitted failure. How will the zealots take that?

Re:Admitted Failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487343)

Uh oh, Apple just admitted failure. How will the zealots take that?

Probably the same thing Google fanboys do when Google does something evil... go into denial!

Re:Admitted Failure (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487415)

like the Moto #ilost ad using a fake and non-existent address. there is no 315 e 15st in manhattan. even the NYC GIS app has it as a fake placeholder address in the middle of the street

but all the fandroids swear its real because its on google maps.

try getting a bank loan for it. "but it's on Google Maps. the banks are idiots"

Re:Admitted Failure (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487643)

Just because it doesn't have a building exactly there doesn't mean it isn't valid to search for it. There is a 300 block on E 15th street, and searching for 315 on any mapping app other than iOS 6 maps will at least take you to a location interpolated between the two nearest real buildings on the odd side of the street.

In this case, looking at the maps, it's a public park. It's perfectly valid to reference the park as "3xx E 15th street" where xx is odd. If you search for this, you should get some point along the street on the edge of the park.

Also, someone could be searching for a valid address and typo the number. Easy to do - Any SANE mapping app will degrade gracefully in this case and take you to a location that's within visual range of your actual desired destination. Only iOS 6 maps won't.

iOS 6 maps is the only one that will take you to A COMPLETELY WRONG ROAD.

Re:Admitted Failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487467)

Actually, as a self-proclaimed Apple fan, I find it refreshing. A company that is willing to publicly admit a major mistake like this one and recommend third-party alternatives is a company trying to to be responsive to its customers' wants and needs, and remains deeply concerned about the customer experience. That can only be a Good Thing (tm).

But it would be interesting to learn whether Tim Cook called together the Apple Maps team and cussed them out the way Steve Jobs did when MobileMe cratered.

Re:Admitted Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487497)

Well... mental facilities occupation rate and suicidal attempts will skyrocket.

Re:Admitted Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487711)

Uh oh, Apple just admitted failure. How will the zealots take that?

The Android zealots hardly need an admission to gloat about how everything Apple does is a total failure.

Oh, wait, did you mean some other zealots?

Wait, What? (2, Insightful)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487245)

I thought the whole No Google Maps on iOS was a plan, didn't they use their app for 5 minutes, and realize the HUGE outcry when they removed it? Further, due to the massive amounts of money (which apple has in spades) and time (which apple doesn't have at this point) what can they hope to do to fix it? And why didn't they pull the plug before it got to release state? Somebody really dropped the ball, or lied out of their ass during the status meetings. I'm wondering when the firings will start.

Re:Wait, What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487681)

Their app works perfectly in Cupertino and San Francisco....

Re:Wait, What? (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487721)

No, the plan was never "no google maps on iOS" the plan was "we need turn-by-turn navigation in iOS and our existing deal with Google does not enable that and we can't agree on licensing terms so we will have to roll our own".

There's no conspiracy to exorcise Google from iOS - they still have several apps on iOS, it's just that the native maps app is no longer one of them (an app written by Apple in the first place).

You've always been able to use google maps from Safari (or make an icon for it so you can launch it like an app), and many people did it this way because it had more features then the built in app which hadn't been updated in a long time. The same thing was true of Youtube - the version provided by Google on the web was better than the built in one (which Apple wrote back in 2007 and didn't see the need to update for this reason).

Somewhere, Google is Smiling (4, Funny)

kstatefan40 (922281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487261)

Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave. It sounds like Mr. Cook failed to learn from Mr. Job's demand for perfection before release. I guess this could be like iPhone v1 not having the copy and paste feature at product launch. Eventually, I wonder if people will get sick of dealing with this kind of attitude from Apple? I did - a long time ago.

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (2)

dopaz (148229) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487393)

A solution to both the iOS 6 map problem and iPhone V1 copy/paste problem is to simple: skip the first revision of a significant iteration. An iPhone 4S with iOS 5 has great maps. Early adopters have been treated as beta testers for years, and not just by Apple.

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (2, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487509)

" An iPhone 4S with iOS 5 has great maps"
No it doesn't... It doesn't even do basic turn-by-turn routing. Something standalone GPS units and Google Maps have had for years.

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (0)

kiriath (2670145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487609)

Yes it does, now it won't announce it to you - but the Maps App on iOS 5 gave you turn by turn directions with multiple route choices.

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487641)

and that's useless while driving

i'm not stupid enough to look at my phone every 2 seconds to make sure i didn't miss a turn. between apple maps, waze and navigon i have no need of google maps and have a lot more features than with android

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (3, Funny)

dopaz (148229) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487653)

The Maps app does indeed do basic turn-by-turn routing. What it doesn't do is text-to-voice, to announce the upcoming turns. Until Google released "Google Maps Navigation", Maps on Android didn't announce turns either.

Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487687)

turn-by-turn routing... Something standalone GPS units and Google Maps have had for years.

Which is exactly why Apple chose to invest in their own map data and software: they could not come to an acceptable agreement with their direct competitor to allow them to offer this feature. Apple made the right decision. When they catch up in a year they will be in a better place and consumers will have more choice. Win, win.

Where's Steve? (3, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487273)

Steve Jobs never would have apologized. While he was certainly one to recognize errors and correct them expeditiously, he'd never own up to it in public. His sometimes boisterous show of unwillingness to compromise is partly what has created Apple's entire image as a "no compromise" company.

Tim Cook is certainly a different guy, with a different approach. I feel he has somehow cheapened the iGadgets with this move - first by releasing a product that never should have made it through validation, and second by apologizing for it in public.

Re:Where's Steve? (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487793)

Steve never would have allowed the product out the door in the first place not after the Mobile Me fiasco.

I think Tim Cook should step down (or perhaps fired) as with nearly a year under his belt as CEO he is proven to be a major fuck up.

I knew it (3, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487299)

Ha I knew Apple would blame then end user for everything and spin it as just another fea... wait what?

This is actually quite a dramatic about face from the usual way Apple deals with problems. Where's the blame, then the spin, and instead of an apology I was expecting Tim Cook holding up a competitor's product going "see it has problems too!"

I'm impressed.

Re:I knew it (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487689)

I suspect the different approach is because Apple has finally figured out that this is a very different problem from any they've faced in the past. They can't put coders or engineers on overtime and issue a patch or change the design and offer to exchange bad phones within a few days or a few weeks.

This is a problem that's going to persist for months, possibly years - as they scramble to build what amounts to an entirely new division producing an new product line (one that existing companies have already built high expectations for) in an entirely new market. Yes, I know they're hiring folks as fast as they can get them through the line... but it still takes time to build the organization and the processes and to integrate the vast amounts of data involved. Essentially they have to re-invent the wheel (both in maps and Google's core competency in data handling) and catch up with the years of experience Google has.

Worse yet for Apple, not only do competing phones (I.E. Android) have this feature nailed flat - Google has tacitly announced they're in no hurry to return to the iPhone.

in Yoda's words (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487323)

not ready the apprentice is
more than just fancy presentations he must learn
much too soon master has left

Maps sure, but what about the OS? (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487369)

I want an apology for the fact that they've decided my 2.5 year old iPad isn't getting an iOS upgrade.

That's way too short of a life to decide to abandon it. Telling your early adopters "tough luck" isn't a great idea.

Re:Maps sure, but what about the OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487421)

You're an idiot.

Re:Maps sure, but what about the OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487781)

What, for expecting an OS update that's supported on the iPhone 3GS (released 2009) to work on an original iPad (released 2010)? I suspect your threshold for idiocy is a little out of whack.

Moron.

Re:Maps sure, but what about the OS? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487659)

Shut the fuck up and go buy a brand new Android device that doesn't have the latest operating system from day 1 and likely is two generations old and will never see an update for the life of the device.

they are not too bad in NYC (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487371)

i've used them here. the parsing is screwy. you have to input the address exactly or it will screw it up. but it wasn't too much trouble to do it for a few contacts.

otherwise the routing works very nicely. previous maps app didn't have turn by turn and this is a pretty big improvement. especially the real time traffic from waze that's built in

It really is the House of Steve (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487389)

1/ When Apple fired him (for being an egomaniac), the company went in the toilet.

2. When Apple rehired him, it became a trillion dollar juggernaut.

3. When he died, it began it's slide into mediocrity (as the map app debacle illustrates).

It really makes you wonder what one man's outsized ego can do to the performance of a company and/ or a product line.

Perhaps Steve would have prevailed a month or two ago and said "our map app sucks, not ready for prime time." But now there is no such ego of equivalent standing in Apple.

And the mediocrity of consensus, rather than the exacting standards of the dictator with the right aesthetic, means Apple is doomed?

Re:It really is the House of Steve (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487579)

plenty of crap released under steve jobs

Re:It really is the House of Steve (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487813)

Yes, but when it was Steve's crap it was a stunning shade of UPS brown, shined like the top of the Chrysler building, and the smell was described as "earthy and inviting, like a forest floor on a spring morning" by all the bloggers.

Re:It really is the House of Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487831)

Absolutely, but he also had the complete devotion of an oddly fanatical portion of the population. Since his death, that population is slowly shrinking either due to loss of devotion of loss of enthusiasm. This is bad news for Apple, but it does make Slashdot more tolerable.

I don't expect Apple to go under anytime soon, they have near perfect brand recognition for a few popular types of trinkets. (also I know better than the Slashdotters who would say that any one slipup by a big company would be their doom) Despite that, I think Apple will have to actually work to maintain market share and to have some grab into new niches that will become apparent in the future. They might be required to actually have specs that match their prices, but I expect they'll get by with just a massive advertising budget.

Re:It really is the House of Steve (3, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487631)

If you're a football fan, I'd compare Steve Jobs & Apple to Peyton Manning & the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts were built around Manning, and when the team was all there, it worked perfectly. However, with Manning gone, they couldn't play the way they were designed to. Both the offense & defense were picked to complement Manning, and with any other quarterback, they are a poor team.

I'd say the same with Apple. I think Cook can be a great change for Apple, but the team that has been built has been built for another quarterback. Either Cook needs to act like Jobs (which I think is a bad idea) or Cook needs to change the mindset and likely many of the staff at Apple.

Either they keep going the same way or make a drastic shift, they can't work on a middle ground.

Re:It really is the House of Steve (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487749)

The magic was he was usually right, AND he had the balls to tell the c levels suits, and the board of directors, to go shove it their ass if necessary. Cook is a supply chain guy, MBA, a cost cutter. No balls.

They will sue everyone who uses another app (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487419)

As well they should. It's Tim Cook's world, we just live in it.

Apple employee handbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487453)

It's funny, after reading about that article somewhere on the interent where they break down the handbook for geniuses, even the top head seems to be following it.

It says somewhere, "never apologize for the problem, apologize it's frustrating them" and here he comes after delivering buggy, incomplete apps and says "We are extremely sorry for the frustration..."

Or... instead of apologize... release the old Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487499)

Rather than apologize Apple and Tim Cook in this instance would have been better served to release an update of the old Maps app that allows the user to CHOOSE between the two, and then talk about how insanely great the new version is and why no one should want to use the old one... except in those cases where the new one's features aren't fully ready yet. Like public transit directions. Or accuracy.

Re:Or... instead of apologize... release the old M (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487745)

That would require that Apple get a new license to use Google's maps in their old app. They only have a year left so it's going to have to go away eventually. As it stands, you can get the same function by doing as Tim Cook suggested (and that many people already did), by going to google maps via the browser and making a quick launch icon on the Springboard.

The old maps app does not run on iOS6, so it's not as simple as just releasing it on iOS6 when you already know it's a dead end.

It's a Shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487501)

It's a shame that he didn't use the opportunity to say something to the effect "While our competitors have taken to lying in an attempt to make Maps look worse than it really is, we do acknowledge it could be better than it is for which we're sorry."

After all, you know, Google/Motorola is lying in their advertising in an attempt to make Apple look bad. Because, you know, the truth is Google is freaking out that they just lost over a hundred million Maps users in an instant...

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/09/27/googles-ilost-motorola-ad-faked-an-address-to-lose-ios-6-maps

Slavishly copying Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487511)

"We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up."

In other words: "We didn't like what Google wanted to charge us to use these features, so we're going to copy them and call it 'innovation' "

Does Steve have a Hari Seldon generator? Maybe he'll appear and solve this.

Re:Slavishly copying Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487763)

No, look at the Google Maps API license terms. They explicitly *disallow* turn-by-turn. Also, the public Google Maps API doesn't serve up vector-based maps. If the Google Maps API doesn't supply a wanted feature, and the license terms specifically disallow adding a feature, then Apple couldn't do those things without moving to a different back end.

Built in excuse (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487549)

So for a while, anyone who's late for work or an appointment can just use the, "Sorry, I was using Apple Maps to get here." excuse, and they'll be forgiven. Thanks Apple!

Remove GMaps, Suggest GMaps Website? (2, Funny)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487551)

Suggesting the Google Maps website is really thick. If Apple really wanted to fix the situation ASAP, why don't they re-release the Google Maps app?

Re:Remove GMaps, Suggest GMaps Website? (4, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487765)

Maybe because it doesn't run on iOS6 and is many years old and has less function than using Google maps in the browser?

Just a (well known, well reported) thought.

Strategic alternatives (1)

HobbesAtPlay (2741303) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487575)

I read more into the recommended alternatives than the apology. Bing, really? Nokia has maps? Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Danger of confusing Apps with Operating System (2, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487617)

Apple screwed up (although they are haldly unique) is pushing the concept that an Operating system is a bunch of personal and productivity applications. Road Navigation software is not part of the operating system.

The OS is the core environment, utility, houskeeping software, and desktop. Marketing idiots have confused the common consumer into thinking an OS also has programs for adding glitter to ponies.

As seen here, when an app breaks the perception becomes the who OS is flawed.

Re:Danger of confusing Apps with Operating System (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487795)

No one outside the IT industry cares about the boundary between OS and applications. That's purely inside baseball. End users want their product to work in a user-friendly, integrated fashion.

Next Apologize to Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487657)

When the focus becomes the legal department the product suffers. Nobody buys the product based on court rulings

If Apple can't deliver "it just works" then where's the real appeal?

The new "it just sues" message isn't going to inspire people to queue all night for a half-baked, Zune-like fail-phone

Not doing quite everything they can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487713)

... since they already had a map application which worked tremendously well-- Google maps-- and the whole problem is that they ditched it to screw Google.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41487833)

Apple isn't cool any more.

Because we didn't know it sucked (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41487881)

Thanks Tim. I'm sure you had no idea how much fail was in the ios Map application before you shrink-wrapped the 5. It's not like you have endless developers to work on these things and go through each bundled feature to make sure it works correctly, or even works at all. We understand you needed to get the phone on the shelves in time for the holidays, and especially to keep people from jumping ship over your recent litigation.

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